Zhuangzi on Nothingness

Once someone complained to Zhuangzi, 

“You base your teachings on uselessness.”

 

Zhuangzi replied:“If you don’t understand what has no use, 

you can’t begin to talk about what can be used . . .

 

For example, the earth is broad and vast,

but out of all this vastness, a person uses only a few inches,

the place we happen to be standing at the time.

 

Now suppose we suddenly took away

all that we are not using at any one moment.

Suddenly, all around our feet a gulf yawns,

and we stand in the void

with nowhere solid except under each foot . . .

How long could we continue using 

only what we had been using?”

 

The critic replied: “Where we were standing would 

cease to serve any purpose.”

 

Zhuangzi said,

“This shows the absolute necessity

of what is considered to have no use.”Image

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